Category Archives: Ecology

Stewardship

How wonderful would it be to look back on your life and realize you had accomplished something like this couple in India?

I have said it before, but it’s worth repeating.  We were made for this planet. We are to be true stewards of what we find because it doesn’t “belong” to us, whatever that means in the context of our finite lives.  We belong to the Earth, and we can take that responsibility seriously, or we can ignore it at our peril.  This couple has made a serious effort to leave their part of the planet better off than when they found it.

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Filed under Art of Living, Ecology

Poem…or admonition?

Just to keep the poetry month theme going, here’s a fridge magnet poem that is really only a general admonition to myself.

blood_honey

It does remind me of the Green Man archetype, an image to which I have long felt a connection.  Matthew Fox says that the Green Man reminds us to be “wet and juicy” and fully alive.  All living things are full of blood or sap or liquid of some kind.

The phrase “take and eat” also calls to mind the language of the Eucharist, an invitation to share in a meal of Christ’s body and blood.  It’s also an invitation to a remembering (or, as Cynthia Bourgeault has said, “re – membering”) of Jesus.  That ritual is intended to reconstitute the body of Christ in some way (depending on which denomination you fall into).  I don’t want to get into that here, since I’m not a theologian, and this is hardly the point to this post.  I don’t know if there is a point to this post.

Anyway, for your viewing pleasure, here is an image of the Ludlow Green Man in Shropshire, England.  I’m sure you’ll agree he’s a handsome fellow.

 

Ludlow_Green_Man_misericord

Note – edited to add links.

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Filed under Ecology, Poetry, Spirit

Father Sky, Mother Earth

I’ve just started reading Rev. Matthew Fox’s book The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine, and, thus far, it has been excellent.  I have been a fan of Fr. Fox since I read some of his work on the medieval mystic Meister Eckhart.  Fox’s spiritual journey is one that I can relate to in some ways, at least at a surface level.  He is a former Catholic priest who was investigated by Cardinal Ratzinger (the erstwhile Pope Benedict XVI) who was at the time the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the modern successor of the Inquisition.  Ratzinger determined that Fox’s works were dangerous and dismissed him as a “feminist theologian,” as though that were something to be ashamed of.  Fox’s censure for his theological ideas, coupled with his coming out as gay, led to him leaving the Roman Catholic Church and becoming an Episcopal priest.

The “Sacred Masculine” that Fox is looking to awaken is not to be confused with the macho, sometimes sad0-masochistic version of masculinity that so many of us have experienced or even acted out in our lives.  This masculinity is one that is in all of us, whether male or female, girl or boy, woman or man and is a force for creativity and nurturance in its own right.  Fox warns, rightly, against taking masculine or feminine archetypes as “literal,” i.e., thinking that only men can draw on masculine archetypes or access sacred masculinity – that is false.

The book begins by tracing 10 ancient masculine archetypes, reconsidering them in the light of new scientific discoveries, particularly in the field of cosmology.  The only one I’ve read so far is the Father Sky archetype. This archetype speaks to how we relate to the larger universe out there, including the sun, the moon, the stars.  Science in the modern world largely killed off the conception of the universe as a living, breathing reality, reducing it to a mechanistic, cold, impersonal place that can only be understood by mathematical calculations.

Fox, however, sees a new turn in science and cosmology in the so-called postmodern world.  Father Sky has become relevant again as we have increasingly grown to understand the ever-changing, creative processes of the universe.  As Fox says, “New stars are themselves being born every fifteen seconds, while others are dying.  And supernovas, galaxies, and human beings join in this great dance. We drink in the universe, which is not static but constantly evolving and unfolding.”  Father Sky is alive again!

Bokeh wednesday (2590257896)

It’s important to note that Father Sky and Mother Earth are nothing without each other, and we cannot exist without both of them. There is a sacred marriage between them and between these archetypal forces within each of us.  Reclaiming the archetypes and metaphors of the ancients in the light of new discoveries helps us to re-enchant our world, creating a story where we belong to one another and to the greater cosmos.  This is not about forgetting our individuality, but it’s about seeing how we all fit into a cosmos and bring our own talents and perspectives to this sacred marriage.  Yes, the Earth and Sky and Stars are for us, but we are for them, too.  You are for me, and I am for you. We often forget that second part.  We want the “take” part, but we don’t like to “give.”

Father Sky and Mother Earth remind us that the world is not ours to manipulate and control.  It is our place to bring our special gifts – our reason, our intelligence, our individuality, our abilities to build community and create beauty – to this cosmos.  What a wonderful opportunity and responsibility!

Mother Earth by Fernando Garci¦üa Aguilar

Edit:  I found this wonderful Maori work of art depicting Father Sky (Ranginui) and Mother Earth (Papatuanuku) in their tight embrace before being separated.

WahineTane

Another wonderful depiction can be seen here:  https://flic.kr/p/suRR.

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Filed under Art of Living, Ecology, social justice, Spirit

Never Ending Wonder

Sometimes when the world of humans gets me down, I have to remember that there is more to this grand universe than our petty squabbles and selfishness. Here is a case in point:

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap170320.html

AuroraTree_Wallace_960

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Climate Change

I’m surprised this site hasn’t been scrubbed, yet, by the new administration.  Perhaps it needs to be saved by us librarians before that happens.  It’s a nice little overview of the evidence for Anthropogenic Climate Change.

https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

Here are some highlights:

  • Global sea level rose about 17 centimeters (6.7 inches) in the last century. The rate in the last decade, however, is nearly double that of the last century.
  • The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have decreased in mass. Data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment show Greenland lost 150 to 250 cubic kilometers (36 to 60 cubic miles) of ice per year between 2002 and 2006, while Antarctica lost about 152 cubic kilometers (36 cubic miles) of ice between 2002 and 2005.
  • Glaciers are retreating almost everywhere around the world — including in the Alps, Himalayas, Andes, Rockies, Alaska and Africa.
  • Satellite observations reveal that the amount of spring snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere has decreased over the past five decades and that the snow is melting earlier.

This is our home, and we are wrecking it. We are sleepwalking to a world of suffering and misery, not just for ourselves, but for all living beings.  It is imperative that we wake up and start living lives compatible with stewardship and healthy relationship with our planet.

The Earth seen from Apollo 17.jpg
By
NASA/Apollo 17 crew; taken by either Harrison Schmitt or Ron Evans
http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/115334main_image_feature_329_ys_full.jpg
Alt: http://grin.hq.nasa.gov/ABSTRACTS/GPN-2000-001138.html (direct link), Public Domain, Link

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